Just because you love A and B does not mean that you’re going to love C, but that’s a gamble that the Oxbow Brewery of Newscastle, Maine is willing to take by brewing a beer that’s infused with lobster. The Oxbow Brewery teamed up with Italy’s Birrificio del Ducato (one of the top breweries in Italy) to brew the ‘Saison dell’Aragosta’. The name is a nod to the Italian word for lobster, and pays homage to the Italian brew master from Birrificio del Ducato who actually gave the head brewer at Oxbow Brewery of Maine the idea to make this lobster-infused beer.
The idea for a lobster-infused beer seems like an inevitable thought for breweries from Maine, the state runs on lobster and is home a crazy amount of craft breweries these days. That however doesn’t mean that the idea is necessarily a good or a bad idea, just one that these Maine breweries would come to naturally over time. There were two batches of beer brewed using the lobsters, the first round had actual lobster meat cooked inside the beer and the second batch was just the lobster shells used for flavor.
Boston.com has the story on how this unique beer came about and whether or not it tastes good:
“We brewed in collaboration with a good friend of ours named Giovanni Campari, the brewmaster at Birrificio del Ducato, one of Italy’s best breweries,” said Tim Adams, co-owner and head brewer at Oxbow.
Campari crossed the pond last summer to work with Adams. They planned to brew “an esoteric German beer that was low in alcohol and used wheat along with barley,” Adams said. He and Campari wanted the flavor profile to be tart and acidic, with a salt character to it, as well.
The two ate lobster rolls at Eventide in Portland the evening before they were set to get to work. But the lobster would prove to be more than dinner. It was inspiration.
“Giovanni turns to me and says, ‘We gotta put some lobster in the beer we’re brewing,’” Adams said. “I was slightly taken aback and hesitant, but I couldn’t say no to him. The guy traveled all the way from Parma to Maine.”
“We got the lobsters from the lobster pound and put them live in a mesh bag, and suspended that bag into the kettle of boiling wort—that’s the term for beer before it’s been fermented,” Adams said. “We cooked the 12 lobsters until they were done, and then we pulled them out and we ate them.”
How’d they taste?
“I grew up in Maine,” Adams said. “And I’ve eaten plenty of lobster. But this was the best lobster I’ve ever had in my life.”
Since Oxbow always brews double batches, Campari and Adams then brewed more beer, this time using the shells of the lobsters. As for the beer, Adams described it as “a balance between the sweetness of the lobster, the sharpness of the acidity, and the salinity of the salt.”
According to Boston.com, if you want to get your hands on some of this lobster beer there’s 3,000 bottles for sale at the Oxbow Brewery in Newcastle, Maine. So get in your car now and start driving before all the lobster beer is sold out!
For more on the Oxbow Brewery and how to get there you can head on over to their Facebook Page.